Nine Russians have been given permits to climb peaks in Nepal this spring.
Despite Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, Ukrainian diplomats have urged Russian mountaineers not to be allowed to climb the mountain, but nine Russian mountaineers have been allowed to climb in Nepal.
The Ukrainian embassy in New Delhi has informed the Nepalese government that many international sports federations have already banned Russian athletes and requested that the Russian mountaineering team be banned until the Russian invasion of Ukraine is stopped.
The Ukrainian embassy in Delhi says it made its request to the Nepalese embassy on 21 March, but Nepalese embassy officials said they had received no communication on the issue.
The officials in Nepal say they are continuing to issue permits to anyone abiding by the government’s rules and regulations. According to the director-general of Nepal’s tourism department, Taranath Adhikari, there has been no change in our policy so far.
Mountains are global assets and any country’s citizens willing to visit them for the attainment of peace should be allowed to do so – as long as they do it within our legal provisions, said Adhikari.
Nepal Mountaineering Association (NMA) president Santa Bir Lama says, ‘We have carried on with our usual policy. Moreover, the government has not said anything in this regard, so we have not taken any new decision.’
For the spring climbing season, which usually lasts until the end of May, one Russian climber has received a permit to climb 8,091m Annapurna while eight others have been given permits for peaks below 6,500m.
No Ukrainian climbers are expected this spring. According to Mingma Sherpa, chairman of Seven Summit Treks, a mountaineering and trekking operator in Nepal, around 35 climbers from Ukraine coming in for different mountains including Everest have canceled their visit.
We have seen cancellations from Russians as well as other European climbers because of the war.